BerNadette Lawson-Williams creates 1st esports program at an HBCU

Dr. BerNadette Lawson-Williams (Photo provided)

BerNadette Lawson-Williams, Ph.D., is an educator with extensive leadership experience in the development of sports-related academic programs.

She received her bachelor’s degree from South Carolina State University, where she later worked as an assistant professor and developed the state’s first programs in sports communication and physical activity management.


As an associate professor at Johnson C. Smith University, she assisted with establishing an online sports management program and developing the curriculum for an Esports and Gaming Management program, marking the first time for both at a historically Black college or university.

She has also penned two books: Blossom Bee’s Golf Adventures and I Don’t Mean to Smash Your Tomatoes, Honey!


Rolling out is committed to bringing awareness to successful women leaders in our community. We spoke with Lawson-Williams as a part of our Women’s History Month recognition.

Describe your daily responsibilities as a female historymaker.

My daily responsibilities as a female historymaker are to utilize my words to empower and [uplift] others, to inspire others by serving as an example of excellence, and to create opportunities for others to find and live by their life passions.

How would you describe your brand in three words?

The three words I would utilize to describe my brand are empowerment, ingenuity, and legacy. Through empowerment, I allow my words to inspire those I interact with. Through my ingenuity, I envision innovative ideas that lead to ingenious contributions, and add value to higher education academia. As a devout educator, I create legacy through positively influencing innumerable students to reach their full potential, and preparing future professionals to succeed in all of their endeavors.

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